PEJ News Coverage Index: November 8-14, 2010. Another Bad News Week for Obama

  • November 16, 2010

There are moments in media when all narratives point in the same direction, when the press seems to see events with an almost singular vision. Such a moment arrived for President Obama last week.

Driven by the ideas from President Obama's bipartisan debt commission, and the vocal reaction to it, the U.S. economy supplanted the midterm elections atop the mainstream news agenda last week for the first time in two months.

From November 8-14, the economy accounted for 15% of the newshole according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. About half that coverage focused on the draft proposal from the National Commission for Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which—in calling for some tax increases and spending cuts—generated criticism from the left and the right.

The No. 2 story, at 12%, was the continuing fallout from the Nov. 2 congressional elections—which produced major Republican gains—with the narrative reinforcing a moment interpreted as a stinging rebuke for the president.

Obama's trip to the G-20 summit and Asia registered as the third-biggest story last week, filling 9% of the newshole.  Much of that coverage highlighted the president's inability to secure a trade deal with South Korea and an apparent failure to ease economic tensions with China.

Read the full report, Another Bad News Week for Obama on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.